Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

medical staff pulse newsletter

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Meetings and Events

Grand Rounds

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Upcoming CME Conferences

Click below to view a complete list of all scheduled Continuing Medical Education conferences.

CME Newsletter - September 2015 (PDF)


Do you know of a significant event in the life of a medical staff member? Please let us know, and we'll post these milestones in Medical Staff Pulse. Also, feel free to submit comments on milestones, and we'll post the comments in the next issue. Click here to email us your milestones and comments.

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Contest Aims to Improve Patient Experience

More than 20 teams of physicians and registered nurses are testing their competitive and entrepreneurial skills as they work to create the best solution aimed at improving the patient experience at Cedars-Sinai.

The competition, known as the MD/RN Patient Experience Innovation Challenge, will conclude next June. "The winning team could see its solution implemented systemwide," said Jeffrey Woods, MSN, RN, CMSRN, nurse manager of 4 South.

There is still plenty of time to form a team, sign up and start developing innovative ideas to improve the patient experience. The deadline for submitting a video description of an idea is Oct. 16.

Woods, part of the think tank behind the challenge, said the competition will resemble ABC's reality TV show Shark Tank in that teams will pitch their ideas to a panel of executive judges. The TV show has aspiring entrepreneurs pitch business ideas to a panel of "shark" investors.

The members of the panel are:

  • Linda Burnes Bolton, DrPH, RN, FAAN, vice president and chief nursing officer
  • Darren Dworkin, chief information officer
  • Mark Gavens, chief operating officer
  • Michael Langberg, MD, chief medical officer
  • Peggy Miles, MD, vice chief of staff
  • Scott Weingarten, MD, chief clinical transformation officer

Teams are currently generating as many ideas as they can and are working to bring those ideas to life through prototypes (models, storyboards, videos, simulations). In November, each team will pitch its prototypes to the panel, and the 10 best concepts will move on to phase I testing.

During December, January and February, those 10 teams will use the Plan, Do, Study, Act model to conduct tests, while modifying and refining their prototypes. Then in March, they will again pitch their results to the panel. The panel will select six teams for phase II testing and the finals. Each panelist will select a team to sponsor during phase II.

Finally, in June, the six teams will present one final time and the panel will select one successful pilot.

"We're also thinking of a unique prize for the successful team, such as an all-expense-paid trip to a conference or sending the winning team to Silicon Valley to pitch their ideas to a healthcare venture capitalist," Woods said.

Each team has five to seven members, including at least one physician and one nurse.

"There are two strategies behind the MD/RN Patient Experience Innovation Challenge," said Chris Ng, MD, chief of staff. "First, we want to improve the patient experience at Cedars-Sinai. And we want to create a culture of empowered innovation at Cedars-Sinai. We want our staff to understand that we welcome their ideas. We want them to think outside the box."

Ng said the MD/RN Innovation Challenge is a perfect fit for those two strategies.

Omkar Kulkarni, MPH, manager of Performance Improvement and one of the innovation coaches, agreed.

"This challenge has created a lot of energy, and the ideas coming in are just amazing. Even though there will be one grand prize winner, all of the teams will have learned so much about how to take an idea, test it and present it to a panel," he said. "The teams are really motivated by the fact that we are not telling them their idea isn't going to work, but offering them encouragement."

For more information, email groupmdrnchallenge@cshs.org.